Black coaches once ruled college basketball. Now their numbers are dwindling.

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There are fewer black coaches for basketball at the top five NCAA conferences than there have been in the past. Here’s what former Indiana University coach Mike Davis and others have to say about that.
Dwight Adams, dwight.adams@indystar.com

There was an era in which black coaches so often won college basketball’s national championship, or made the Final Four, that there was optimism one sport might make the theory of a post-racial America a reality.

John Thompson was a giant, and not because he was 6-foot-10. When Kentucky’s Tubby Smith won an NCAA title in 1998, he was the third black coach in 15 years to do so, following Thompson at Georgetown (1984) and Nolan Richardson at Arkansas (1994).

Contrast that to the number of black coaches from Power Five leagues in the 2019 NCAA tournament: One. That was Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton.

There were eight (including coaches from the Big East) just a year ago, and eight in 2009 and 2010. The numbers have endured peaks and valleys, said Stu Jackson, the Big East’s senior associate commissioner for men’s basketball.

“The unfortunate part is, we’re in one of those valleys,” Jackson said.

A dearth of black…

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